Conquered by Paula Quinene
Publisher & Release: Self-published, June 18, 2016
Time and setting: 1944, Guam
Genre: Historical Romance/WWII
Length: 326 pages
Heat Level: 4 Flames
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
Conquered is a passionate love story, as much about its main characters, Guam native Jesi Taimanglo and American GI Johan Landers, as it is about author Paula Quinene’s passion for Guam itself. As her characters try to find a place for themselves amid the war, Jesi’s relatives, and the Chamorro traditions, Quinene charts a path through a seldom told story: Guam’s place in WWII. An original idea written with an original voice that invites readers in to the exotic world of the Pacific, complete with coconut trees, banana doughnuts, dolphins swimming in the ocean, and moonlight on Pago Bay, Conquered also recounts the brutal horrors of the Japanese occupation on Guam, a US territory largely forgotten back in the States. In addition to learning about a singular and little-known culture that has played a part in the world wars of the Pacific, readers will undoubtedly crave the recipe for banana doughnuts.
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Back in June, I ran a highlight for this book’s release. The book description sounded interesting. I knew very little of Guam’s involvement in WWII, and nothing of Japan’s occupation of this small island. Conquered proved to be an intriguing look at Guam and its unique culture.
The plot definitely pulled me in from the start. I liked both characters a great deal from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the island of Guam. This is a story of not only love, but of loyalty to family and traditions.
I tried to take into account that Ms. Quinene is from Guam and English may be her second language, which explained some of her word usage. While a bit distracting at first, I eventually adjusted to her writing style.
Now, I want to discuss the erotic component of Conquered. While the chemistry is extraordinarily strong between Jesi and Johan, I did not truly enjoy the love scenes. They tended to focus more on the physical description of what they were doing, then the emotions behind the sex. They read more like erotica and were not very romantic. While I have no problem with graphic description and terms, I like the emotions behind the physical to be evenly mixed.
If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating island and its people and their part in WWII, then you will enjoy Conquered a great deal. The romance between Jesi and Johan is enjoyable as well. I am glad I took a chance and read this book. Happy reading!